Strong Payroll and Inflation Numbers Drop Rate Cut Odds to Almost Zero. Friday's unexpectedly strong economic news, an 180K jump in March payrolls and a drop in the unemployment rate to 4.4%, puts the kibosh on hopes of a rate cut any time soon. Fed funds futures still predict a single quarter-point reduction by December 2007. (See the CBOT website and take 100 minus the "Close" value to get the "market's" estimate on where rates will be.) But futures, like everyone else, are very bad at predictions. William Poole of The St. Louis Fed has found that Eurodollar futures are accurate less than 30% of the time. Crane Data believes rates will remain flat all year, and are more likely to rise than fall in 2008.

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